Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/75

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THE SCHOONER EXERTION
 

He had received a polite education and was of a very gentlemanly deportment. He spoke several languages and was skilled in drawing and painting. He had travelled extensively and his wide fund of information made him a most entertaining companion. His observations on the character of different nations were very liberal; with a playful humorousness quite free from bigotry and narrow prejudice.

 

An entertaining companion and philosopher, indeed, whose outlook had been mellowed by the broadening influence of piracy, and you and I would like nothing better than to have sat down with this reformed gentleman of fortune a hundred years ago and listened to his playful comments on the virtues and the vices of mankind, and his wondrous yarns of men and ships and the winds that tramp the world.

Perhaps as he moved so sedately in the ordered life of Boston and Hingham, or fared to the southward again as mate of a trading-schooner, he shivered at recollection of that day in Kingston when ten of his old shipmates of the Mexican dangled from the gallows-tree and the populace crowded to enjoy the diverting spectacle. And in his dreams he may have heard the wailing voice of Pedro Nondre, when the rope broke and he fell to the ground alive: "Mercy! mercy! they kill me with-